I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Reflection for Sunday September 25, Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 16:19-31

Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.' Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.' But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. ’Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’
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A man who did not believe in God and in the afterlife wantonly wasted his life by living a life of sinful pleasures.   It was always a life of immoral satisfaction for him: drugs, sex, and other sinful things, in other words he had no time for God. This became his life because he did not believe in the existence of the afterlife much less God.

Is there really an afterlife or a life which will immediately replace our present life after our life in this world is over and done with already? The answer is a resounding yes! The gospel shows us that there is an afterlife which is very different from the life that we have today. There in the afterlife exist two kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of hell where the devil and his minions dwell.

In the gospel, we see the characters of the unnamed rich and indifferent man and the poor man named Lazarus. The rich man perhaps did not believe in the afterlife or was not aware that there is an afterlife that’s why he did not mind the poor man Lazarus who was in dire need of his help. He nonchalantly ignored Lazarus as if the poor man did not exist.

When both of them died there was a reversal of places: The poor man Lazarus who endured a difficult life when he was still alive was in the kingdom of God and the rich man who savored earthly life was in the dark kingdom of the devil.

Why was there a reversal of places? Because the rich man was indifferent to the crying need of the poor man Lazarus. If he only knew that Lazarus was very close to God. If he only knew that Lazarus could have been God in disguise. The lesson for us is very simple, we should not ignore the crying need of the poor and we should always be sensitive to their plight.      

What do you do when you encounter the poor? – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

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